Learning your child has autism can be a devastating blow for any parent. One mother delivers an emotional and uplifting message about coping with her autistic son.
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Portia Iverson: It's got to be one of the most devastating experiences you could through in life and I really don't rule much out and when I say that. Kimberly Dameshek: Emotionally, you're going to feel like, you are just you're going down the toilet bowl. I mean, I don't know how else to express it. It's going to be the most horrible thing you've ever felt in your life. Sarah Spence: The parents that I meet who are incredibly nervous and really scared and devastated at the time of diagnosis, as time goes on and they get to understand what the children can and also can't do. Discover some really wonderful things in their children. Kimberly Dameshek: They think he has a photographic memory because he basically memorizes all the scripts from every single video that he has and I'm talking everything from Bumble Bee videos to Blue's Clues to Disney movies. You mean he'd literally memorizes all dialogue from everyone, he'll memorizes all the physical moments in every scene. Sarah Spence: It's phenomenon within children with autism. Is it true in every child with autism? Absolutely not, but I think there are a sub-group of children who have these very special skills. Some people called them savant, some people call them splinter skills. So there'll will one thing that a child that's extremely,extremely well. Kimberly Dameshek: Most people will think wow, isn't that wonderful? Though, maybe he is going to be a very bright boy and maybe he will be except that he has no interaction with his brother. He doesn't play with toys, doesn't, it's heartbreaking because in many ways he is like a little professor and very much not a child. And the only time you'll see windows of him being a child, as if you let him pick up that sand and if you want to sit there for 45 minutes and keep sifting it through his fingers. If you're willing to sit and watch him, be there with him. You actually get to see a glimpse of a little boy who's just in love with what he is doing. It's just not what other kids of his age do. Portia Iverson: We know early interventions are important, but we don't always know what kind of intervention will work for what kind of child. So the parent should really trust what they see with the child. If the child is responding positively, go with it. If the biggest professional on earth says this is the therapy and the child's responding badly, stop. Kimberly Dameshek: You have two choices and tow choices are only once you're face with this. You either can feel sorry for yourself and waste valuable time that you'll never get back or you can get to work and get busy and cry later.